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laryngeal spasm
what causes laryngeal spasm and is there any medication to prevent an attack.


This discussion is related to Laryngeal Muscle Tension/breathing distress.
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I just had one of these spasms for the first time moments ago at work.  I started coming down with a cold last night.  I began coughing this morning and while coughing at work I suddenly had a coughing "fit" where I couldn't stop and all of a sudden it felt like my throat was closing up!  I told my friend that something was wrong and I couldn't breathe.  I never felt so panic stricken.  It passed after what felt like an eternity but was probably only about 20 seconds.  Now, I'm so anxious it will happen again.
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My first spasm occurred in 1995 after we had just moved to an area with a humid climate.  My family was terrified, and I thought I was going to die.  After several episodes over the next few months, I saw an ENT specialist. who put the tube down my throat and, on finding nothing, told me that the worst that could happen would be that I would pass out and then start breathing again. No help there!   Over the years, I have had these spasms occasionally, especially when just getting over a cold.  When I feel the tickle, I found that drinking ice-water helps, and I try to keep it close at all times.  I am a teacher and my students often bring me my water when I start to cough.  I keep water on my bed-stand, and if I wake up to a severe spasm (I've learned to identify those), I get up with my water and walk around the house until I've gained control.  BUT, each time is scary and I dread the next one.  I am so glad to have found this forum!!  Thanks for all the suggestions, and I am on my way to pick up some magnesium.
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sorry for the duplicate
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I have the same problems and lose my voice after having an asthma attack or getting sick. My pulmonologists suggested I see an ENT. The ENT did a scope of my throat while I smelled different irritants (potpourri, bleach, etc.) and discovered that my vocal chords close. Its called Vocal Chord Dysfuntion. Whenever I am exposed to an irritant my vocal chords come together cutting off my airway. This leads to the breathing difficulty. I attended Vocal Chord therapy where they teach you how to breath in order to keep your vocal chords open. It helped tremendously!!! You take one deep breath in through the noise and blow out quickly three times. This forces the chords to blow open. Its called rescue breathing. I am also supposed to take Asmanex daily because it cuts down on the inflammation in my esophagus. I would suggest seeing an ENT and asking about having this test done adn attending the therapy. If your ENT has never heard of any of this then find another one because thay obviously do not know what they are doing...

Hope this helps! :)
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Try a 9 mm if it does not subside. I have Premature ventricular contractions , ventricular tachacardias, and now I have these larynix spasms. I don't get excited when I am awake because I can breath a little and they don't last long. The Dr is checking my magnisium for the PVC's But he isnt concerned with the spasms. I thought about chocking him a little so he might understand what it feels like. But I may need him for a trach. It is scary but my wife has had them for years and nothing bothers her it seems. She says you must be ready to meet God. I tell her, I'm in no hurry. I am over 50 and have hot flashes to. As a man I didn't think that would be a problem. My wife says God is getting me use to the heat. I don't tell her any of my problems now. All jokes aside, lif can be scary when these things happen to us.
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One of the worst things is when one feels that coughing will start a spasm. Ask your docter for Codeïne Fosfaat. One tablet is enough to deminish the tickle and to relax the thoat. It stops even heavy coughing, very quickly.
Ice water is also a good idea ; I combine with taking Codeïne.

During a spam it will help to bend your head backwards and stretch your arms upwards. ( and try ONLY to inhail  via  the nose). Polly's Vocal Chord Therapy seems to me a useful suggestion.
  
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Sorry
Correction
During a spasm it will help to bend your head backwards and stretch your arms upwards. ( and try ONLY to inhail  via  the nose). Scorpio's Vocal Chord Therapy seems to me a useful suggestion.
  
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Great to discover this site and for all the comments and suggestions.
I'm very rarely ill but one week before Christmas I got a chest infection which is now in its fourth week. On Christmas night I too had my first attack and since then I have had one or two a night for a few nights and then a break of a couple of nights when I think that all has settled down. Last one was 3 nights ago and my cough is getting better so it was a shock just now to have another spasm. Now I dread going back to bed so I'm sitting up reading everyone's comments and suggestions knowing that I'm not the only one who suffers from these spasms,. (which is a great comfort) As said by everyone here the doctors say there is no remedy for this which is not much help. Thank you all.
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Great to discover this site and for all the comments and suggestions.
I'm very rarely ill but one week before Christmas I got a chest infection which is now in its fourth week. On Christmas night I too had my first attack and since then I have had one or two a night for a few nights and then a break of a couple of nights when I think that all has settled down. Last one was 3 nights ago and my cough is getting better so it was a shock just now to have another spasm. Now I dread going back to bed so I'm sitting up reading everyone's comments and suggestions knowing that I'm not the only one who suffers from these spasms,. (which is a great comfort) As said by everyone here the doctors say there is no remedy for this which is not much help. Thank you all.
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BLUES LADY
I'm a professional singer and the last week of this November right after singing a song with long sustain notes I experiened mt first larygeal spasm out of the blue and then kept experiencing them  several times after that.  On the first evening, when I got home, I found that different foods were very irritating and was having a very diificult time swallowing.
Since then I have been to my ENT several times and he has put me on Prilosec, Clariton, and just this last week Neuronon also known asGabapentin.
I've also been going to a speech and swallowing specialist.
I've lost 15 pounds in less than a month for I have been unable to swallow most foods and have been living off homemade soup with chicken and veggies because I need a lot of liquid to get foo down.  Up until a little over a week ago, I had a very tough time drinking water, but for me, I found that by drinking through a straw that I can get more water down.  
It's very hard trying to take the meds I need when swalowing becomes the issue.. I've been taking calsim and magnisum fo 20 years now, but couldn't get them down the first 3 weeks.
Yes, it is very scarey when I feel my throat close up on me and now I hate being without mt husband here, however, when I'm around other IT seen to cause more spasms.
We've tried ti figure out the triggers but it just seems to change from day to day.  I've always been senitive to car fmes but now, it's very dangerous.
My speech and swallowing therapist says it's because my larynics is over sensitized from acid reflux and that the larygenial nerve that runs frim thr sphinter muscle in the diapham/stomach area is inflammed.  This nerve runs all the way up to the throat.  SHe works wth singers and said that thus is common among singers and not to eat for 2 hours before singing and for at least 3 hours before laying down.

The other things that I have experienced with these Larengial spasms it the uppersoft palate moving ad clicking quite a bit and mt tongue position affecting my swallowing.  The sensation of my epglottus sticking in theup position can be very alarming.  And yes, it is very difficult to stay calm, but I try my best.  By the way, I was also told by my  speech therapist that prolonged stress can bring this condition on via silent reflux and now research is showing a connection between slent reflux and sleep apnea which I've had for a few years now  and as such, sleep at at a 60 degree angle.
I hope that this info has been hehpful to some you.  I 'm hoping and praing that this latest medication, Neurontin, will get me up and running again.  I'ts now January and I haven't been able to sing, and can bearly talk for any lenght of time, since November and very anxious as to weather  I'll ever be able to fearlessly resume my singing career.
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Laryngeal spasm is the sudden and abrupt closing of the vocal cords, breathing is impaired because the air is drawn through the mouth, nose, throat then larynx[vocal cords and gateway to] the trachea and into the bronchial airways, irritation to the vocal cords will initiate a spasm resulting in total or partial obstruction of the airway as the two cords come together usually with inhalation, the victim struggles to draw air in through what is a blocked airway there may be violent bouts of coughing before hand, frightening though it is, it seldom lasts long before the spasm passes, by virtue of elimination IE discovery of what one was doing, eating, enviorment ect one can sometimes control the frequency even though not the severity of the attacks. During an attack try to restict your breathing, swallowing helps[ you cannot breath and swallow at the same time] restrict moving about [encourages further breaths] when you do breath try it slowly through the nose [ filters and warms] you should then be able to start breathing through the mouth again. If the spasms occur at night learn to sleep with the head slightly raised [two / three pillows] and or on the side. It is not an allergic reaction but may be triggered by someone suffering from one such episode or anaphalactic shock, neither is it sleep apnoea.
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So glad I found this site. I've suffered from laryngeal spasms for about fifteen years - I think it started after bad laryngitis, which left a "sensitive spot" on the left side of my throat. More or less anything that touches this spot can cause a spasm, but it's much worse if I am recovering from a cold or sore throat.

However, I have found some things that can help a little. I'd like to share them with those who are desperate or afraid.

I put spasms into two categories that I call major and minor. A major spasm usually happens at night while I am asleep. I wake up making terrible noises etc., you know the scene. They can last up to five minutes but it feels much longer. The only thing that helps is to sit straight up with my head held as far back as it will go, also pushing my chin forward. This stretches the airway open a little. At the same time I sip cold water. And pray. So does my wife.

For a minor spasm, the sort that happens when you are eating and something happens to touch the sensitive spot, the trick is actually to stop breathing for a while, even though your body is screaming to take a breath, while holding your head well back as before. Try to empty your mouth in a way that doesn't offend the company... Then take the smallest possible breaths, so that you don't produce any noise, gradually increasing the amount each time until you seem to be breathing something approaching normally and can relax a little. This doesn't work every time but it can sometimes stop a spasm from developing. I have actually been able to hide a spasm in company this way, though of course I've never fooled my wife...
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My solution during a spasm: Holding back the head as far as possible indeed, but in  combination with stretching both arms 'hands up' to the ceiling.
If it is cold outside, go outside. The cold air works positively on the airways.
When you might think it will occur during the sleep because you cough frequently, take a paracetamol beforehand. (it calms down)
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I recently had 2 of these terrifying experiences, both at 2am...out of a sound sleep. I suffer from terrible asthma so I assumed they were severe attacks. Luckily I have a home nebulizer so I used that to help with the attacks. These spasms lasted a lot longer than a minute or two...more like 20 minutes! ( I assume the spasm also triggered an asthma attack though.) I had never heard of this condition but when I saw my pulmonologist , this is what he diagnosed. I am terrified to go to sleep. They were worse than any asthma attack I've had in 30 years. I believe the Magnesium will work as I have taken it for other muscle spasms...I will start that again ASAP.
I'm grateful for the information given here. Thanks to all that offered their wisdom!
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5351834 tn?1366771445
My wife is 53 and almost a year ago, she choked on a peice of steak, and turned blue for about two to three minutes.  Luckily I was there, (we were having a cookout in the backyard), and my neighboors were both outside.  I yelled for help and within a minute, i could hear the ambulance comming.  I did the heimlick manuver and just as the ambulance got there, she coughed up the peice of meat.  After that episode, she seemed ok, but a couple of months later, she started getting the lyrengial spasams about once a week.  As those of you who have this, its a terrifying thing to go thru and to witness.  I try and hold her upright, and hold her head up, talking to her telling her to stay calm and try and breath.  This usually happens just after dinner, and some two to three times a week.   We will try the vitamins and repost with the results,(dont see how it could hurt anything).  If anyone has any other remedys or advise, please post them.  Thanks   Ron
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After stopping smoking, I developed a cough that lasted for 5-6 weeks. Went to DR and got steroids and cough meds and antibiotic. Then started having spasms at night. Went to ENT, he scheduled esphoagram, I take it next Monday. It is really unnerving to not be able to breathe...mine mostly occur at night or early in am after I get out of bed. I hope there is a cure for this...I am reading all the comments in this forum now. Good luck to everyone.
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I have been suffering with this for quite some time with the last two years being the worst.  When it first started I wondered, "Am I choking on food to cause this reaction, or is the reaction making me choke on food?"  I have been treated for GERD, Asthma and LPR and still I struggle.  Like most of you I have found this site after a scary episode.  I am going to try the magnesium.  I would like to share something I found that has helped me and has not been mentioned in the previous posts.  Blues Singer and teachers listen up!  I talk for a living and have had voice issues along with the spasms.  I have done a lot of my own research trying to heal myself as the GI, ENT and Pulmonary physician's advise only helps a little.  Three things that have helped me are:1 humming to warm up your vocal cords first thing in the morning.  I read this is how Frank Sinatra always warmed up.  Also after heavy voice use hum to cool down, just like a runner has to cool down to keep blood from pooling to prevent cramps.2 Throat Coat Tea is very helpful to the throat and voice.  I add raw honey to mine.  You can drink it hot or cold.  It is very soothing and you will notice when you are sick or using your voice a lot it helps.  You can find it in the tea section of most grocery stores.  I have found it at Target and Walmart too 3 Talk to your physician about Sinus Rinsing to see if it may be helpful for you.  I was not excited to try this, but it wasn't bad and has reduced some of my coughing.  Good luck to all and I will revisit this site to keep learning from all of you too!
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The recovery position for this is to extend the neck backwards as much as poss, looking up to ceiling, or tilt back as far as poss, do not breath in fast but slow, faster breathing closes the muscles tighter blocking the airways further. Extend neck back and slow breath through nose, extending neck back prevents the vocal cords from clamping closed, it stretches them out, also breathing through nose also stretches them and prevents further spasms. Sleep with head elevated from stomach to prevent acids causing attacks at night, and find a way to have your neck in the stretched recovery position should prevent night time episodes. Well it worked for me since I was recommend on another forum! Good luck . If you have a cough, get doc to give a good medicine to stop the coughing, in my case this also triggers an attack, so avoiding coughing is important. If I need to cough now, i extend neck back to cough and breath in through mouth, which leasers the clamping closed.. Also get a good stomach acid tablet to lesson acid in stomach which causes these attacks also.there is another great website here: http://voicedoctor.net/therapy/laryngospasm#causes
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6469950 tn?1381595866
Also my instinct is to wrap up glands as mine I feel is related to a complication to a flue virus this left me with bad cough. So I wear a lovely 100% Pashmina scarf loosely round neck to keep all glands warm and in day, or if going out also, plus at night as cold air affects the current sensitivity in larynx, I also have a bed hat with ear flaps, keeps the whole area nicely warm , wrapped up and protected at night. When I had the first episode it was so frightening as i awoke at 5 am unable to breath at all, I was not sure if I was going to die or not. after panicking and getting very hot, i went to bathroom, splashed cold water on face to cool down, and sat on the loo seat with my knees pulled up , which flexes your back and makes you hold your chest very upright, which helped me, or I believe standing as straight as poss, if you cannot do this.
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6469950 tn?1381595866
ps a friend was recommending also coka cola good for cough, which I had been craving before she told me! (although stay away from it in normal circumstances!)
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Swallow as hard as you can.  That works.  A respiratory therapist told me to do that.
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I am writing this after a middle of the night ambulance ride to the ER for a horrifying laryngospasm.  The ER doc acted like I was crazy to be there because of course by the time of my arrival the event was over except for my rapid heart rate and sky high blood pressure.  The bad thing is that I am an employee of the hospital I am lying in and it really upset me to be asked "what do you want me to do for you?". So glad to find this site as only those who have experienced this stressful situation can really understand it. Will be trying all the suggestions I've seen here as I have suffered from them for decades and like the rest of my fellow sufferers live in fear of the next terrifying episode.
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I am so glad to have found this site- having experienced several of these suddenly not able to breath issues-  I was explaining what has happened to me (most recently a week ago while sleeping in fact) to my doc and he told me what it was called- first time I had ever heard of it-  he is sending me to an Ear,Nose& Throat doc just to have a scope-camera verify nothing is going on in my throat- as a backup- but as far as what to do when you suddenly can't breath- (fortunately has not happened to me while driving) he had no idea- said that eventually your body will allow you to breath- not very comforting of course- even though I understand what he is saying to me... I had hoped there was a magic throat spray to carry with me, etc., but he explained how the throat closes up temporarily- my fear I guess is if I had this happen without having a full breath of air in my lungs (such as exhaling and then diving underwater- you'd be in trouble very soon)  I might black out or even die-  so this site is awesome- and I already got the supplements from the health food store- will definitely try the cold air/head in the freezer idea next time this happens-  but man, the stress of going to sleep now wondering if it will happen again- and if I will wake up in time to try and force air to come in and out- it's extremely stressful not knowing when it might happen again. Once more- thanks to everyone for these post- there is more for me to learn here than I got from visiting the doc (even though he was fairly well versed on this subject) as no suggestions regarding supplements, etc., were made to me ....
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Hello :)
I just ran across this thread after searching for what the cause of my elderly father is having symptoms of & I believe this is what he is suffering from. He just had his AICD put in last week so he will be able to do his procedure for the scope to see what's going on with him but this is just one of the several things he has to deal with but it's reassuring that I think that I have found out what he's dealing with probably, as to where the doctors aren't sure. My father is 74 & has a really bad heart with only one artery left & a valve that is leaking but with these attacks he's having it takes a lot out of him. Not only is he suffering from these spasm attacks where we have to sit him up & blow air into his mouth on the difficult episodes he's lost 33lbs in two months & no appetite so you can just imagine there is no way we are able to let him try & catch his own breath because he panics which is hard for him not too with everything else & plus his age factor that is so scary to him. He might lose unconsciousness I have read then the larnyx will relax as posted in some of the threads on here but not so sure about him & all the factors. I just want to know if anyone has anyone to help them when attacks occur to sit them, hit their backs & blow air into their mouth because he can't close his during the hard attacks it's like a fish out of water gaping etc. Thanks :)
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I agree with all of you that the larangeal spasm is horrifying. I am about to visit my doctor today regarding my most recent attacks. I am hoping I will be able to get an epipen.

In the meantime, I always use my Ventolin puffer - even though I cannot suck up the vapour, I feel that it must be able to help somehow. It does not immediately work but I have not passed out or come close to passing out, so maybe it does have an effect. I hope this can help other people who suffer with these very debilitating spasms.
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I have had laryngospasms since undergoing radiation treatment for cancer cells remaining after removal of my cancerous thyroid. That was 10 years ago. I had 2 before checking with my doctor. He said that it was a side effect of the radiation treatment. After having several more, I found that these were affecting the way I lived.  I sought help from a hypnotherapist so I could handle the panic. After 3 visits, I developed a routine to follow at the onset that helps me stay calm but doesn't always stop them. I take Tussionex, a high-powered cough med and drink hot tea with honey along with ice water. My family and close friends know the routine and can usually get help, even in public places. Hot water does the trick too. Just had one today while having lunch with a friend. I was told that my inhaler for asthma just irritated the throat more so I don't grab that. I am glad I found this forum after a long search. I always tell my dentist and other professionals about this and some take it very seriously and some look at me with puzzlement. I know well the pin pricking sensation on the side of the throat that some have mentioned. Mine is especially irritated by smoke in the air, fatigue and stress. Of course, I avoid getting colds as much as possible too. I hope this helps. It is so good to communicate with those who suffer from this frightening problem.
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I am 64 and laryngeal spasm hit me for the first time a month ago. It happened after a bout of excessive cough. Since then It occurred 4 times , twice at night. The description of the symptoms is like all of you.
I am a physician , I understood what is happening, I try to reassure myself , but the panic takes over. Holding the breath as much as possible may be helpful. If you can.
The cause of my cough is adult Whooping cough that I caught from a patient.
I found out that The tickle is relieved  after ibuprofen or plain pseudo ephedrine. So i take it before my meals
Also , at night a mild tranquilizer may prevent it . Vistaril gives me a good night sleep .
I shall try extra magnesium and report back to this community
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2058987 tn?1330671807
That 4 lane emergency sounds bad!
I just got assessed by the specialist  Im to stop ALL Caffen related foods,  apparently this causes the esophagus to weaken  and allows food and acid to burn the throat.  mine is pretty well scarred , and must heal OR could lead to bad things ahead if left, anyhow IM TRYING to stay off tea n Coffee chocolate etc .
my choking has subsided , but my lifestyle has as well LOL
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Hi Guys, there is apparently also an acupressure technique that can relieve a laryngospasm. When having an attack if you press your two index fingers hard into the cavities behind the ear lobes between the jaw and skull and then hold it, this can relax the vocal chords after around ten seconds. I havnt yet had the chance to try this out but its worth a shot I guess. Had my first attack while drinking a hot drink approx 7 yrs ago and have had a few attacks a year since. I also have silent reflux and hiatus hernia. Convinced they are connected to laryngospasms.
Eoin
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I have been getting these spasms since having parathyroid surgery. Damage to left vocal cord nerve. I got myself a medical alert bracelet so I don't have someone do the heimlicht for choking. It's the scariest feeling of being strangled and not getting air in or out! Good luck to all.
Jane
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I have also had the usual "I think I am going to die" episode ...and a few more attacks thereafter. I now have this ghastly cold which inflamed my larynx. I have had so many spasms from this that my throat gripping shut and me just relaxing has become almost routine. I could easily invoke an attack right now just by coughing hard. I also get it in the morning and I cant go back to sleep because if I lie down it starts a spasm ...so I am forced to get up early.

My ent specialist tells me that everyone has had this problem at some stage ...I think he is talking utter rubbish and hasn't got a clue about this condition.

I will read through all these posts and see if there are any tips and tricks that can help me with this...thanks!
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I am so relieved to find this site. I feel better now finally finding others with this condition. I too caught whooping cough from the local middle school in 2007. I was volunteering and handing out bathroom passes. My whooping cough was misdiagnosed by my primary care doctor and the ENT specialist. my son's pediatrician finally diagnosed it as well as my 87 year old mother who had heard this very same cough in the 30's. During and after this whooping cough I had been taking albuterol thinking that it is an asthmatic condition, and even had taken Gerd medicine during my whooping cough as the doctors thought it was the cause. The gerd medicine did not relieve any of the spasms. I did not answer yes to any of the gerd symptoms either. Ever since I am prone to have these spasms. especially during a chest cold, or a smoky environment. I thought it was asthma. last week I had such a severe attack in a movie lobby that (I could not breath one little bit) that a stranger did Heimlich and the paramedics were called. I was terrified. I found my albuterol and couldn't even take a hit on it.! finally a wee bit of air entered so I didn't pass out and the albuterol got in. what an ordeal...it is a wonder I didn't die of a heart attack. I am going to try all of the above diet, magnesium, everything to get away from this horrible condition.  
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I am so relieved to find this site. I feel better now finally finding others with this condition. I too caught whooping cough from the local middle school in 2007. I was volunteering and handing out bathroom passes. My whooping cough was misdiagnosed by my primary care doctor and the ENT specialist. my son's pediatrician finally diagnosed it as well as my 87 year old mother who had heard this very same cough in the 30's. During and after this whooping cough I had been taking albuterol thinking that it is an asthmatic condition, and even had taken Gerd medicine during my whooping cough as the doctors thought it was the cause. The gerd medicine did not relieve any of the spasms. I did not answer yes to any of the gerd symptoms either. Ever since I am prone to have these spasms. especially during a chest cold, or a smoky environment. I thought it was asthma. last week I had such a severe attack in a movie lobby that (I could not breath one little bit) that a stranger did Heimlich and the paramedics were called. I was terrified. I found my albuterol and couldn't even take a hit on it.! finally a wee bit of air entered so I didn't pass out and the albuterol got in. what an ordeal...it is a wonder I didn't die of a heart attack. I am going to try all of the above diet, magnesium, everything to get away from this horrible condition.  
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how can they say you can't die from it? what if you pass out in the car driving, or you are swimming, or you do have a heart attack?
good grief, what if the pilot of a plane passed out?
this is a serious condition and I don't see why the med attitude is , don't worry it won't kill you...this I do not buy.
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Hi all.
I have had the same thing as all of you, for 7 years i think.
Mine comes if i sleep on my belly, allmost everey time, or if i throw up.
I have found out when i get an attack, i have to breate out as hard as i can, like a big cough... That takes it away, rigth away
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Hi everyone...I am so grateful to have found this blog!  I've been suffering since 12/23 with what I assumed was flu (inspire of my Oct shot)...it turned out to be bronchitis or b-spasms.  After 3 GP visits, advised to go to ER. Tests were all normal.  The 'spasms' as we are all describing have been EVERY MORNING now for 2 weeks...and a few during the day, though less scary.  After researching, it is clear this is what I have.  I see a pulmo guy on Thursday and my Dr. prescribed lidocaine viscous for emergencies. I'm not sure if I'm comfortable enough using it yet....It is impossible to describe to others the absolute horror and fright with this issue!  It is debilitating...and I find I am scared to fall asleep, knowing I'll have it in the AM..I am going to sip some honey tonight and drink some water before I succumb to the urge to cough....I appreciate everyone here...thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Hello.  I'm so glad to have found this site and meet you all!  I've had about 10 episodes over the last few years, which have all been terrifying. Until yesterday they have always happened when I'm starting to fall asleep while reading or lying in the bathtub. Yesterday, though, I guess I took a breath while drinking water (or whatever causes a person to choke while eating or drinking) and as soon as I began coughing I was immediately unable to breathe and the attack lasted longer than any of previous ones. I don't think I have a problem with acid reflux and really don't want to have a lot of medical tests. I've just read a lot of your suggestions and am going to try some of them next time it happens. I also found a video about a 'straw breathing' technique and I'm wondering if anyone finds that helpful?

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Alright...I have had the endoscopy now and am on Nexium...Now I get them 2-3 times a day.  I am ready to give up.. I cannot stand it....
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Many thanks to you all spams sufferers for your great advices and suggestions which I have taken note. I have had two awfull spams and in both cases I was sure I was going to die (I am 66 and not ready to go). Luckily both times I was with my husband and I told him (by signs as I could not talk) to blow air with his mouth inside mine and the two times after the second blow I began to breath again little by little. I just wanted to share this with you. Kindest regards and good luck
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I've been having spasms for 6 months now, happening nearly everyday. Waiting to see a neurologist as I also have speech and swallowing difficulties too. I'm off out to get some magnesium supplement, hope this works
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grateful to see your post, from a few years back. Have you had any success, using your EpiPen? Thank you so much.
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I am 70 years old and suffered from Laryngeal Spasm for years and here is how you can stop an attack. I promise you this works. This is what you do.
As soon as you get an attack and you have to be quick and brave,

SWALLOW, AS IN GULP DOWN, AIR. FORCE AIR DOWN YOUR THROAT AND MAKE YOURSELF BELCH.

Keep swallowing as much air as you can and you will find the pressure of gulped air will Immediately open the larynx, after which the back pressure from the 'Belching' will open up your throat and kill the spasm. Try it, it really does work.
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Laryngeal spasm has a new name - Laryngospasm.  So nice that it is finally is being recognized by the medical community.  Went to 3 doctors 40 years ago when it started happening and they all shrugged their shoulders and told me my throat was fine. I blame my condition on a traumatic tonsillectomy 40 years ago that must have caused damage to the nerves in my throat because it started happening with one month..   Was awake during surgery, blindfolded, while an orderly held me down. Sick, sick doctor who convinced my mother  that I could bleed to death with the traditional tonsillectomy under general anesthesia.  My spasms began within 1 month of surgery and have been going on ever since. I usually get about 2 or 3 a year now. It used to happen much more frequently.  I am no longer awakened from a sound sleep with them since I've been taking Pepcid AC at bedtime.  I've also figured out how to stop them in their tracks, and that's by drinking water (room temp, not cold) as soon as it starts.  When you swallow, it opens your throat momentarily and you can get some air in.  Continue to drink and by the time you've finished second glass of water you're home free. Knowing the *water trick* works, I'm never without a drink available if I'm eating anything. My throat closes up for a variety of reasons, respiratory infections, acid reflux (which I no longer have) but now most of the time it happens when I'm eating, especially if I'm stressed.   About 10 years ago I had my gallbladder out and warned the anesthesiologist of my condition. Sure enough, when I woke in recovery room I couldn't breathe. She had a shot of albuterol ready for me (which I had asked her to prepare for me in advance, thank goodness) but even with that, my respiration rate was 83% and I was on oxygen all night. I'm terrified to think of what will happen if I ever need heart bypass surgery...  I hope that you all try the water during an attack.  I had tried the breathing techniques and though it helps, it's not half as good as the water remedy.
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Hi Carol...I know this is over a year late but I just found this site.
I've had these spasms for years - normally as a result of suffering a laryngitis spell (being a teacher, this has been a problem) - I actually had one this past week as I've been tired, recovering from a sinus infection, and was eating something and inhaled the 'dust' of a pretzel I'd been eating - the dust hit the back of my throat and caused a reaction so severe my husband had to pull the car over to grab me a water.
However, I pulled out an inhaler...I had had this bad sinus infection 2 weeks ago and asked the at Urgent Care for one. I sprayed FAST!  Along with the water, it took a much shorter time to pull out of it.  
I've had these spasms so badly, I begin to black out and my entire chest reacts painfully and becomes very splotchy.  It's really a problem in the classroom and I'm sure it's some type of allergic reaction the strains of trying to talk, breathe and the air around me.  
I've finally, in all these years, have a name for it.
Maybe try an inhaler....if it's an allergic reaction, it seems to make sense to me.  Better than me trying to do a tracheotomy on myself!!
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I've had larynx spasms for the last 10 years. At first it was about once a month or so and now it's almost every day.  Having COPD doesn't help any either. My doctor has me on Benzonatate 100mg  (taking 2 when the episode starts and codeine.  The Benzonatate takes affect 15 minutes after I take them. Basically after the attack is over.  Yes it can start with a tickling sensation in your throat but sometimes it starts over nothing at all.  I've had so many I stopped counting.  I now have a procedure for when it starts.  I take hot water as hot as I can. The reason is that your larynx is a muscle and hot water relaxes it.  STAY calm,  breathe in through your nose very slowly  and out your mouth.  Breathing through your mouth only irritates it. My wife makes me a cup of Chamomile tea which is suppose to calm you.  Don't know if anything can really calm you but more real hot tea seems to help calm it more.  Talking doesn't help during one of these attacks, it only can make it
worse.  Doctors really don't understand and information is slow.  So until the next one.......
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This is what sometimes happens when I am taking liquid.  The anxiety about it happening makes it worse.   I was recently at a party, and all I could think about was choking on my non-alcoholic, cold drink.  I would appreciate hearing what anti-anxiety medications people have tried for this.  This is my only anxiety-related behavior.  
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Thank you all for your honest posts. I have had these horrible episodes for around 10 years. I always worry what I will do if one starts while I am driving. But last night was the worst one ever where I turned blue and came close to passing out. My husband was terrified. It felt like I was drowning and for a moment I thought oh my gosh I am going to die. My damaged occurred at the age of 5 when I split my head open and needed 30 plus stitches. They would not let my mom in the room and put me in a straight jacket and I screamed bloody murder. My mom recalls I had no voice for weeks and ever since I have had coughing and throat issues. I will be seeing my doctor soon but in the mean time am so greatful to know I am not alone and that I am not crazy and that I found this site. My thoughts are with you all. Thank you!
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Thank you everyone from Sudbury Ontario for all your advice. I have severe attacks where I am initiated and in ICU for a one to two weeks this happened four times last year and continue to have minor ones. My last one landed me in jail because at   ER the Dr. on call said there was nothing wrong but a panic attack and couldn't breathe and I refused to leave without getting help they the called police and charged me with trespassing and I ended up in jail. So upset that became even worse where I ended back at ER where I ended back in ICU intiabated . No apology but
now have a police record to show for me having laringospasms . Doctors need to be made more aware of this condition maybe if they have a bad attack they would be more sensitive for all who suffers for this condition. Thanks you all for your informative post it has helped ne knowing I'm not alone.
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READ THIS IT WILL HELP!
I came down with whooping cough, and the constant coughing damaged my  throat and made it so sensitive I began to have  spasms at a rate of one every 3- 4 hours day and night. Not only was I not getting any sleep, but the attacks were terrifying and I came close to passing out a number of times. The best the British NHS could do was tell me that if I did pass out it would trigger a breathing reflex so I probably wouldn't die.
What made matters worse was that I began having  acid reflux in the evenings which inflamed the throat further.
HOW TO MANAGE AN ATTACK
The trick to coping with the attacks was to keep a bottle of water permanently on hand.
The moment I felt an attack coming on, I took a sip of water. It turns out the act of swallowing overides the spasm and you can breath again (breathe through your nose not mouth). Most of the time the act of drinking stopped an attack completely. On the odd occasion when it restarted, I just kept sipping and breathing until it went away.
The ability to get oxygen into your lungs during an attack takes away the fear factor and, as you get the hang of it,  the attacks will become a mild inconvenience rather than a life threatening event.
TIPS:
1. Panic can result in you accidentally pouring half the bottle down your throat and then choking on it.  To prevent this, get a sports water bottle or something with a small opening that will slow the amount of water entering your mouth.
2. Make sure you breath through your nose not your mouth as your nose moistens and warms the air. Cold unmoistened air just irritates the throat!  As a result of constant hayfever I was used to breathing through my mouth and this simply made the condition worse.  I had to relearn to breathe through my nose.
THE PROCESS OF RECOVERY
As suggested above I took copper and Magnesium to speed up the recovery.
I also took meds to dilute my stomach acid so that the acid reflux would stop constantly damaging my throat.
The reality is that the throat takes a long time to recover. For me it took 6 months before the attacks ended, but end they did, so hang in there!  
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Im 25 and had my first episode ever mon night while i was laying down and called 911 by the time they arrived it was over i thought I was dying. I ran to the bathroom and splashed cold water in my face and tried to drink but it didnt help at all. I was making this really high pitched noise my fiance was panicking he to thought i was going to die. I suffer from anixety and panic attacks this is worse than that so freaking scary. I went outside and held my arms straight up in the air and finally started getting my breath back my airway was cut off for about 45 sec to a minute and a half but it felt like a lifetime. It took a good 8 to 10 minutes for my breathing to return to normal but my heart is still racing 2 days later. I went to the er the next morning they thought I was crazy never heard of this happening I am glad I researched it and figured out what is wrong with me. The er was no help at all I really want to go back and  tell them what it is I have wrong with me. I have not felt the same since its happened I'm having severe anxiety thinking about having another one. I'm going to present it to my doc on Monday and hopefully go from there.
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